Saturday, January 28, 2006

Colds Are &#@%ing Useless

All they do is make you tired and uncomfortable. Not bad enough to cause explosive diarrhea, febrile delirium, or other conditions both fun and useful. They are debilitating enough, however, to make going to work a living hell. Not so much, though, that you'll garner any sympathy from your boss and co-workers if you DO stay home. "Oh, he has a 'cold'" they'll sneer, as though you're actually at the Ritz Carlton penthouse suite, throwing a crazy swingers party with Burt Bachrach doing his thing on a revolving grand piano. Meanwhile you're busy judging the international all-nude tiddlywinks tournament with returning champions 3rd year running, the 1976 Playboy Bunnies. They might be a bit older but damn if they can't still tiddly them winks!

But God forbid that the cold hit you on the weekend. All that means is the day you woke up and decided to tough it out at the office, only to have your coworkers giving you mean looks, covering their noses, and spraying their desks with Flu-B-Gone when you walk by, you should've been home in bed watching reruns of "Love Connection." Makes you wish you did infect those co-workers, all healthy and smug with their strings of garlic and rosaries on their office doors to keep you at bay. Lick the rim of their coffee mugs when their not looking, I say.

That's why, this year I'm boycotting colds. "Snuff out the Sniffles in 2000-Sissle!" And as soon as I get over this damn cold, I'm sucking down all the garlic soup and echinacea I can get my grubby mitts on. Speaking of grubby mitts, my secret weapon: bright yellow rubber gloves. Pink-eye on subway poles be damned!!! You may get past the anti-bacterial hand gel and the infrared-motion-detecting Lysol Mist Master 3000, but the yellow rubber gloves will be your doom!!! You'll spot me from a mile away as only the foolhardiest among you will attempt to withstand my rubbery saffron might.

Truthfully, I have no such plans. Just wishful thinking. Or maybe it IS febrile delirium, in which case I've got dreams of giant marshmallows the size of my pillow to look forward to tonight, woo-hoo!!! No, instead, like every other poor sap out there with a scratchy throat, I will be grabbing my ankles and taking it from these microscopic cell-mates named Bubba-Joe. No recourse but hot tea and double-doses of vitamin C. But when did hot tea and vitamin C ever keep you from getting cornholed? I digress. Worse than anything, however, it's the weekend, so not even the "Price is Right" is on to lull me into a catatonic stupor leaving me to be painfully aware of the dry eyes, dripping faucet nose, and the mountain gorilla building its summer condo in my head. Take the weekend off will you? Spay this Barker!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Playing with Blog Entry Poster for GNOME

About two weeks ago I upgraded my purchased SUSE 9.3 Professional system to OpenSUSE/SUSE 10.0.

First of all, huge props to Novell/SUSE for turning their distro into a community-supported project. Having known Novell since my dad used their network in his office back in the '80s, it's great to see them restoring their former glory via the Open Source game. And SUSE being the first distro I purchased and actually got working on one of my own PCs (back in '99) I feel confident that this move will take what was a strong distro and make it stronger. Sure, Red Hat blazed the Corporate-cum-Community trail with their release of Fedora Core, but SUSE's not only stepped up but come up strong.

Case in point. I type this post on my OpenSUSE upgraded HP Pavillion dv4150 laptop(!!!) and will be posting it via the Wireless G connex I'm using here at boloco's inspired burritos (pretty damn inspiring, I might add). The upgrade was ridiculously easy. Far better than when I upgraded my roomies older HP and my sister's Dell with WinXP. Yisch!!! Terrible memories.

Anyhow, since the upgrade, I've been playing with different tools that came with the distribution. Having generally stuck to my workhorse tools (OpenOffice, Mozilla, Kaffiene, Thunderbird...) I've gotten more and more interested in pushing the system and software to its limits.

Which brings me to this Blog Entry Poster tool. I found it in the Applications > System > Configuration > Desktop Applet menu. Kind of a wierd spot for it, especially since I didn't see a second icon for it under the Internet or Office menus. It was about as hard to pinpoint on the web as it was (would have been) to find it on the desktop (had I actually been looking for it). But now that I've found it, it's a gem that I'll be keeping close going forward.

Setup was stupid easy. Select your Blog Site from the drop down list. Enter your blog account ID and Password. Hit the Lookup Blogs button and it pulls up a list of your blogs from the given account. Hit Close (wish it had the usual OK and Cancel buttons - but that's minor) and the Post Blog Entry screen pops up. Type as you would with any word processor and when you're done click Post Entry. After that, your ramblings are up for everyone to see!

I'm damn impressed. From my Googling, it looks like SUSE and Ubuntu Gnome install with the tool. If your distro doesn't have it, just go to:

and click Download in the upper right.

I'm diggin' it. The AFroNaut will definitely Bloggeth much more often. Check it out and enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lo! Tolerants.

Tolerance can mean all sorts of things. People develop tolerances to noxious compounds. Exposed to poisons in a diluted form over time, one's body can learn to handle these potentially lethal substances enough so a serious exposure will not result in death or permanent damage. The same goes for diseases, hence vaccinations. Yesterday we conquored polio, today we conquor...erectile dysfunction, and tomorrow, ...err...uh...polio? Of course there are some poisons, heavy metals for examples, that will screw you whether they get into your system all at once or gradually. Is that Flipper's menacing chuckle I hear?

Psychologically, those who dare may learn to withstand the minor irritants facing those living in proximity to other sentiant beings: the smokers who dare foul the air whilst relaxing your sandal-clad tootsies on a park bench; the oncoming ambulance making you pull over to the right even though you're 2 minutes late for bikram yoga; or the guy standing behind you in line with the crusty booger up his nose that makes a high-pitched whistle right in your ear each time he breathes in. With maturity we learn to foster the Zen mind towards these petty annoyances bringing us in harmony with our environment, our neighbors and ourselves. Om that, mother-$#@%&*!

In mechanical systems, high tolerance means that for a given variable, temperature, torque, friction, or other, the system continues to function even when the variable deviates greatly from a given standard. Hence the AK-47s ability to fire as reliably as it did when they first came off the line even after being buried in sand for five years. I guess that would make body armor a pretty sound investment, eh?

So I love it that on a day like today, the day we remember the life and sacrifices of Dr. King, so many folks audaciously proclaim the gospel of racial tolerance. It reminds us that we need not wax nostalgic for the days of bitter acrimony and misunderstanding that was crucible and backdrop for Dr. King's lifelong struggle, nor that we consider such struggle a relic of days gone by. After all, political correctness, our modern day guide to manners and civility, dictates that folks like me are to be tolerated. Poisonous and infectious are we, yet regular incremental exposure to us will bring the sanctity of immunity to John and Jane Q. Public. Deviants (from the standard) that we are, rest assured that our existence warrants little more attention than a petty, fleeting annoyance.

So to all of you tolerants out there who, today parade your true nature for all to see, I thank you for your honesty and courage. May pride and contentment fill your heart, may tuna fill your dinner plate, and may second-hand smoke fill your nose perpetual. From the other end of the park bench, this is TheAphro.

Note: Had you read this before, you may have noticed that I changed the last line. When I originally typed this, I was groping for a third metaphor for the last line (above). Suffice it to say that the metaphor I chose (sand and a certain type of weapon) didn't sit well with me. No one's commented to me or complained about it, so my decision to modify the line was all my own. I was seriously reaching as far as metaphors go, but more importantly I felt it implied a sentiment I simply do not hold, and wouldn't even want suggested. Having considered (and sometimes still considering) serving our nation's military the last thing I'd wish on any of our soldiers (yep, even the dickheads) is for their weapon to jam. The thought makes my heart stop. My views about our leadership and its chosen misadventures overseas are largely shaped by my feelings for our soldiers. The fact that current policies and their execution is at the expense of too many young men and women simply galls me. A friend of mine, my age, joined up recently, and has been training for the past year. Far from being a neo-con or a friend-of-W, his words to me before heading to basic were "folks like us have gotta be represented in the service. And those kids going in are just too young not to have folks our age helping them out." God bless you and all there with you G. Keep your head down, your clip full, and your chamber clean.

So, long story short, that's why I changed the last line. You gotta admit your mistakes to correct them. My apologies to you if you did read it in its original form and thought I might have meant something I didn't. Peace and blessings.